‘Building Capacity’ in Struggling Erie Neighborhoods

Mayor Joe Schember’s administration wants to help struggling areas of the city that have traditionally lacked strong neighborhood organizations or where such groups need additional resources.

ServErie’s ongoing efforts on the city’s east side are an example, and that approach will be a focus of a public meeting Tuesday evening.

City officials and ServErie representatives will host the meeting at 6 p.m. at New Life and Spirit Revival Center, 315 E. Ninth St. Schember will attend, along with the city’s planning director, Kathy Wyrosdick, and ServErie’s executive director, Marcus Atkinson.

Wyrosdick said the meeting relates to Erie Refocused, the city’s comprehensive development plan, and will largely focus on what the city and ServErie plan to do to help a blighted section of the city that ServErie has adopted.

That area stretches from East Sixth to East 12th Streets, between Wayne and Holland streets. It has struggled with crime, blight and other issues and includes some of the city’s poorest residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

“What we are going to be doing is developing a long-term strategy for that area,” Wyrosdick said. “We’re going to start a very important dialogue with people who work and call that area their home.”

Erie Refocused is the city’s first comprehensive plan in decades. It addresses the city’s future need in a number of areas, including housing, transportation, land use and economic development.

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